Stop Bullying: Ideas for Your School
Bullying is deeply hurtful to students and destructive to the culture of schools. All forms of bullying, whether verbal, physical or electronic, often leave painful scars that take considerable time to heal.
In the past, bullying was often dismissed as a minor issue, but fortunately today, school officials and the general public take it much more seriously. In fact, several provinces have decided to readdress school bullying with legislation. And the Manitoba government’s proposed Bill 18, Safe and Inclusive Schools, is currently working its way through the legislature. In short, the Bill would require all Manitoba schools to take certain steps to combat bullying and encourage diversity.
In the meantime, what can your school do now to help end bullying? Here are some ideas, some of which your school may already implement, to help get the discussion going:
Make sure all your students know what your school’s definition of bullying is, and that there is no tolerance for it. Also, make them aware that they have the power to stop bullying and it’s not just up to the teachers and staff.
Assess your students’ understand of bullying by giving them a short survey to complete. Ask questions like, “Have you ever been bullied since school started? If so, please describe what happened.”, “Where do you see the most bullying at school?”, “How can you report bullying at school?” This can also give you a clearer picture of what the present bullying situation is really like at your school.
Get the students involved. Allow them to give formal presentations to each other on anti-bullying.
Hold regular, informal classroom discussions on bullying. Students can freely talk about any bullying they’ve experienced or seen. If possible, allow students to have some of the discussions without a teacher present and appoint a group leader/monitor.
Get the parents involved. Make sure they as well know the school’s definition of bullying and that it will not be tolerated. If a student is showing
bullying behavior, bring his/her parents in to discuss with the student positive, helpful solutions.
Allow students to “file a complaint.” Have your school create a Bullying Report Form, where students can fill out what they saw or experienced.
Have various boxes throughout the school where they can drop these reports. Address the reports promptly.
Encourage the students who may be uncomfortable approaching a teacher by himself or herself to do so in pairs.
Bullying is not something that is going to go away. It can, however, be reduced significantly. It requires students, teachers, administrators and parents to all share in the effort of finding positive solutions. So that every student can enter the doors of his or her school with a smile and without fear.
*Some content retrieved from www.teachmag.com Van Stone, Bruce. (Nov/Dec. 2012). Real-World Tips for Ending Bullying in our Schools